Why Do I Need A Will?

Talking about death and what will happen after you’re gone can be confronting. Having a valid will in place provides certainty and security for those you care about.

Anybody can write a will – not just those who are wealthy or who have a complicated family situation.

A will can include things such as how your wish your funeral to be carried out, where you would like to be buried, whom you wish to become legal guardians of children and pets, and how your belongings are to be distributed.

Other things that a will can do:

  • Set out financial arrangements for any dependents and bequests to family and friends
  • Make a donation or bequest to a philanthropic organisation
  • Nominate the beneficiaries of your superannuation
  • Set up a trust or another financial arrangement to provide for children or other family members or loved ones
  • Give instructions as to what will happen to your pets
  • Give instructions as to how your funeral should be arranged and where you would like to be buried
  • Set out instructions as to who is to receive your personal belongings and effects

 

What information do I need to include in my will?

Image 1 Deceased Estates

Your will should list everything that makes up your estate – both assets and liabilities.

Assets are properties, businesses, vehicles, superannuation, stocks and bonds, the balances of your bank accounts and all other possessions such as furniture, jewellery, clothing and any other items that belong to you.

Liabilities are any debts you leave behind There are two types of debt – secured and unsecured. Secured debt is a debt that is fixed to an asset, for example, a mortgage that is secured against your property. These debts must be paid before any unsecured debts.

Unsecured debt refers to debts that are held without collateral  such as personal loans, credit cards, and loans to family and friends.

Your will should set out clearly what is to be done with each of your assets and liabilities.

When does a will become a legal document?

In Queensland, your will must be in writing, signed and dated in the presence of two witnesses who are legal adults – that is, over 18 years of age. Your witnesses cannot also be beneficiaries of your will or know someone who may benefit from your will.

Beneficiaries, Executors and Witnesses

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is a person or legal entity that benefits from your will – your will should set out in detail what each person or legal entity is to receive.

What is an Executor?

An executor is a person (or organisation) named in your will to carry out your wishes after your death.

You can nominate one or several executors in your will.

Your executor needs to arrange payment of all your debts and taxes before distributing your estate to your beneficiaries as specified in your will. This process is also known as estate administration.

What happens if I change my will?

If you change your Will, the new version cancels out the previous version. This can also be the case if your personal circumstances change, such as if you marry, divorce, begin a de facto relationship, or have children.

In each of these situations, your will should be updated to reflect your changed circumstances and new versions given to all affected parties.

Who should make a will?

All adults should have a current will, irrespective of age, wealth or family situation.

What happens if I die without a will?

The term for dying without a will is dying intestate. In Queensland, the Public Trustee becomes responsible for your estate unless someone else is granted a letter of administration

Legislation surrounding intestacy sets out rules for who receives your estate if you die intestate, based on your personal circumstances at the time of your death. In general terms, a spouse or civil partner is first in the line of succession, followed by any children or grandchildren.

Find out more about the rules around intestacy.

To avoid the possibility of your estate going to beneficiaries you would not have chosen, make sure you have a valid will.

Who do I give my will to?

Once your will has been witnessed (and is therefore a legal document), you should give copies to all beneficiaries and executors (Note: a beneficiary of your will can be an executor, but not a witness). You can also lodge your will with the QLD Public Trustee. Many people do this so that a copy of their will resides in a central, secure location.

Are you dealing with the estate a loved one who has passed?

This can be a stressful and overwhelming task.

Blue Lighthouse Relocations can help. We provide a deceased estate property clearance service.

This includes completing itemised inventory reports, liaising with the executor of the estate, distributing items to family members and clearing out the house to prepare it for sale.

Let us help you manage a task that can seem especially stressful and overwhelming while you grieve the loss of a loved one.

As an established and growing provider of moving and relocation services throughout south-east Queensland, we offer services to suit a wide range of needs:

Our initial consultation to determine your needs is completely free of charge.

Get in touch today – we look forward to helping you.

Call us on 1300 158 432.

Email our friendly relocations team on info@bluelighthouse.com.au

Visit our website and send us a free quote request.